Eye Check-up Camp at Gagangiri Maharaj Ashram


When one talks about an eye camp, one generally refers to a mass exodus of patients, a handful of eye care professionals, a torchlight test and manual cataract surgeries conducted in make shift operation theaters. On the whole, an inferior quality of eye care …..

But, the eye camp at Gagangiri Maharaj Ashram is a very big exception !!

The eye camp at Gagangiri Maharaj Ashram was carried out last year in February was the Lions 8th  Inter District Free Eye Check up Camp which was started in the year 2005 and is conducted annually.

The eye camp is structured as an OPD and Surgery.

1. OPD of the camp is conducted in the premises of Gagangiri Maharaj Ashram itself. The Ashram is located in Khopoli, around 2 km away from Khopoli railway Station. A gentle stream passes across the middle the ashram.

The OPD examination consists of screening the patients for cataracts, checking and distributing spectacles, free dispensing of eye drops and providing meal for the patients and relatives. The patients and their relatives are provided free transport from Khopoli to Lodivali and back.

The OPD is conducted by a team of eye surgeons, optometrists, ophthalmic assistants and volunteers. The total number of patients screened are between 500-800 and the total number of workers running the OPD is 60-70. The OPD is conducted on a Saturday between 9:00 am and 2:00 pm.

2. The surgeries are carried out at Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital at Lodivali. The total number of surgeries on an average have increased from 40 to 125.

A team of eye care professionals from Kapadia Eye Care, Mumbai have been conducting these camps since last seven years.

The team has 7-8 ophthalmic surgeons, 8-10 OT sisters and assistants, a physician and an anesthetist.

The team carries all the required equipments namely phaco emulsification machines, a scan machine, microscopes, autoclaves, sterilizers, intra ocular lenses and all the consumables and medicines required for the eye surgeries.

The surgeries are conducted by phaco emulsification techniques in which a very small incision is made so as to make the surgery sutureless. Eye Patches are removed after 4-6 hours, then the local drops are started and dark glasses are worn by the patients for 3 weeks.

The surgeries are carried out over a period of 2 days - Saturday and Sunday and a follow up is arranged after 3 weeks. Last year 114 surgeries were carried out in two days.  Any patient requiring any assistance in post operative period is attended by the eye surgeons of Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital.

The facilities at Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital consists of a spacious operation theatre with 6 operation tables, a set of trained staff nurses and ward boys and comfortable wards for the patients to rest after the surgery.

Any eye camp needs funds, volunteers, awareness amongst the community and a selfless support. All these are provided by Lions club of Carter Road in abundance.

From all the aspects namely planning, coordination and finally execution, Gagangiri Camp is a professionally conducted camp and I feel lucky that God has given me this opportunity to serve the community along with selfless workers.

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